Guyana to benefit from more testing kits, support through PAHO/WHO

Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips, this afternoon, said Guyana is grateful for the continued support of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), which has committed to providing an additional 20,000 test kits and other forms of support to bolster  the country’s fight against the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Prime Minister made these statements after a meeting with the Country Representative of PAHO/WHO, Dr. William Adu-Krow at the Office of the Prime Minister.  He also commended Dr. Adu-Know, whom he says has been championing Guyana’s efforts during this challenging time.

“He has been here for seven years and he has contributed immensely to the public health system here in Guyana. We continue to benefit throughout his tenure in Guyana from his expertise in dealing with the COVID-19 and public health management in general. This meeting was therefore an opportunity for me to thank him on behalf of the Government and the people of Guyana for his service to us. He has worked tirelessly and overtime in helping us in Guyana,” Prime Minister Phillips said.

The Prime Minister also urges the public to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines, which includes respecting the curfew in place, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and regular sanitisation.

Meanwhile, Dr. Adu-Krow, who is preparing to wrap-up his tour of duty in Guyana, said that despite his imminent departure, PAHO/WHO continues to work with the Government to ensure that the health care system is fortified and able to cope with the rise in cases.

In this regard, he noted that the Government’s measures, including its decision to implement the curfew for the month of September, are wise and give the health care system a chance to better mobilise and prepare.

“We agreed that if we have the systems in place that are implemented and enforced for at least two weeks to a month, then it gives the system time to recover. It gives us enough time to get equipment in the country and have ventilators and medications in place. [This will help] to prepare the health system and make it more robust to withstand the shock of rising cases.  We have already purchased another 20,000 tests kits, which will arrive soon and the Government of India has also given us funds to purchase ventilators so I think we have what it takes to be able to fight the present situation. We want a robust health system to stand on its own and withstand the shocks,” Dr. Adu-Krow said.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.